Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Eleanor O'Hanlon always felt different. In love with musical theater from a young age, she memorized every show album she could get her hands on. So when she discovers an open call for one of her favorite productions, she leaves behind everything she knows to run off to New York City and audition.
... evokes the golden age of Broadway, from an author whose own performing background shines through. Historical details are well placed, and the characters are engaging ... While the writing is a little dry at times, the theme is sure to appeal to fans of musical theater. Readers of Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls or Fiona Davis’s The Chelsea Girls will enjoy, too.
Although Eleanor’s naivete could frustrate some historical fiction readers, the pull of Broadway and the real-life consequences of challenging social norms—alongside a slight nod to romance—keeps the story moving.
Charles is among the novel’s many sensitive characterizations, most notable of which is brilliant, conflicted Don: desperately lonely but coldly making use of others’ lives to feed his artistic needs. It’s Eleanor and Charles who show him the realistic finale his musical demands, and Eleanor’s happy ending is a highly qualified one suggesting that she, like Don, will find her deepest relationships in art ... Smart, savvy, atmospheric work from a promising new talent.